Kids are getting ready to start up a new season of sports, but the numbers about injuries are startling. Every 25 seconds, a young athlete suffers an injury that is severe enough to send them to the hospital.
Sports-related injuries in youths account for 1.35 million visits to the emergency rooms each year according to a new report by Safe Kids Worldwide.
FOX 9 News spoke with Dr. Heather Bergeson, with Tria in Bloomington, about the "Game Changers" report.
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Q: It's no surprise that the sport with the most injuries is football. Let's say you have a youngster who wants to play the game. How do you prevent injury?
A: I think the first thing is to make sure they are following the rules of the game. The rules are there for fairness, but also to keep kids injury-free. Things like not spearing in football, or not checking from behind in hockey.
The other thing is to wear protective gear. Make sure it fights appropriately. The other important thing is to never play with pain. Pain is your body telling you that something is injured. A twinge here and there is okay, but if it's lasting more than a few days, it's something to get checked out.
Q: These days, you can't take chances -- especially when it comes to concussions. Twelve percent of those injuries are concussions. … What are some things that people can keep in mind when it comes to concussions?
A: We're starting to understand more about the long-term risks of concussion. I think time will tell about what we're going to end up recommending for those athletes. The biggest thing is recognition because it's not just a ding. It's a mild, traumatic brain injury and it's something where you should not go back and play until you are healed an the treatment is complete.